“That video yesterday indicates that something is horribly out of control in the management of the prison,” Mayor Landrieu said.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu did not mince words while reacting to video recorded inside the now closed House of Detention, in Orleans Parish.
The video was shown in federal court Tuesday during a consent decree hearing to reform the prison system.
It shows substandard conditions and security breaches; including drug use, even a loaded handgun.
The video was recorded years ago, but this week’s hearings on whether to reforming the prison begs the question how are conditions behind bars now.
We asked mayor Landrieu.
“I don’t have access to the prisons,” Landrieu replied. “The Sheriff is the keeper of the jail.” “I can’t go in the prisons.” “I’m not authorized to go into the prisons.”
Sheriff Marlin Gusman had no comment Wednesday outside federal court.
But no one is disputing the need for prison reform.
A new 250-million dollar jail currently under construction should address many of the concerns raised in the proposed consent decree.
It’s why the mayor is asking the court not to pass a judgment that would cost the city another 22-million dollars.
“It doesn’t make sense to lay off police officers to hire more guards; when in fact half of the guards aren’t guarding the prisoners,” Landrieu said.
Landrieu says throwing money at the prison system will not fix what he sums up as a management issue; but he says a collective effort between local, state, and federal government will.
“You can fix all of these problems, but it’s all about time, it’s about money, it’s about management, it’s about workability, it’s about execution, it’s about implementation,” Landrieu explained. “And if we can all be thoughtful about how to do that we can fix the problem.”
Mayor Landrieu intimated that is does not have to cost 22-million dollars to reform the prison system.
Marlin Gusman he’s expected to take the stand in Federal Court Thursday morning.